Santa Monica Beach
Photo by: Kjetil Ree, Creative Commons
Surrounded by the urban sprawl of the city of Los Angeles on three sides and bounded by the waves of the Pacific Ocean on the fourth, is the city of Santa Monica, a resort town located just a very short drive away from one of the largest cities in the United States.
Visitors coming to Southern California will find Santa Monica a perfect location to base their trip. The city has plenty of accommodations and restaurant options, and is conveniently located near many major visitor attractions in the area, not to mention just a few miles away from the city of Los Angeles. The mild climate of the area – compared to that of the inland areas – keeps the city at a comfortable temperature for much of the year.
Beyond the high bluffs on the Pacific Ocean side of the city lie the beaches of Santa Monica. 3.5 miles of warm sun and sand line the coast, giving beach goers the ultimate Southern California beach experience. Visitors may go swimming and surf the warm waters of the Pacific. They may go fishing or biking or even play beach volleyball. There is also the chance to see an occasional movie shoot thanks to the beach’s proximity to the movie studios of Hollywood.
A prominent landmark on the beach is the Santa Monica Pier. Built about a hundred years ago, the Pier contains an amusement park – Pacific Park – with a large Ferris wheel, a carousel built in the 1920s, and more. Visitors may recognize the Pier from its appearance in numerous movies, TV shows, music videos, and even video games, throughout the years. On top of the bluffs overlooking the beaches lies Palisades Park, a great place to walk and to view the ocean.
Visitors can enjoy shopping in Santa Monica’s three shopping districts. Montana Avenue on the north caters to more upscale shoppers. Downtown is home to a major pedestrian-only outdoor shopping area called the Third Street Promenade. Main Street is the place to go for clothing, restaurants, and other retail products.